FORT MCCOY, Wis. (WEAU) -- Cadets at the Wisconsin National Guard’s Challenge Academy got the experience of a lifetime Friday.
Some current and former Green Bay Packers came to visit as part of their annual Tailgate Tour.
The cadets were in for a surprise Friday afternoon.
“I wasn’t expecting that at all,” said Samuel Robertson.
"Seeing an actual pro team come and talk to us is great,” said Stryker Rivers.
Current cornerback Jarrett Bush, wide receiver Randall Cobb and running back Alex Green were all there.
So were former players Santana Dotson, Aaron Taylor and Frank Taylor.
The cadets asked them what they value in life, and which obstacles they overcame.
“I got injured going into the draft,” said Santana Dotson.
“I lived in seven different houses before the age of 12,” said Randall Cobb.
“I grew up with dyslexia. I had trouble in school, and things like that,” said Alex Green.
The Challenge Academy is at Fort McCoy.
It’s a boot camp for boys and girls who have dropped out, been expelled or at least a year behind on credits.
The goal is to help them get their GED.
“It’s a really big motivator to be able to know that people who come from a lot of the same situations that I have in life can make it," said Robertson.
“You can always come up from the gutters and come up to being successful and having a good life,” said Rivers.
Packers players said they enjoy talking to kids.
“Whatever struggles or obstacles they’re going through, just keeping push through. At the end of the day you just have to keep going through it and hopefully they come out shining,” said Jarrett Bush.
The Challenge Academy director said it’s important for the cadets to have good role models.
He also said it gives them a chance to hear another perspective about what they need to do change.
"So to hear it from someone like a Green Bay Packer someone that’s been successful that’s had their own adversity they hear it from someone else other than us,” said Mike Murphy.
“You’re going to get knocked down, but you have to be able to get back up,” said Bush.